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Title: On the fringes of the European Union : food self-sufficiency and the Eurozone crisis in Slovenia
Author: Matijevic, Petra
ISNI:       0000 0004 7960 6303
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis examines how food self-sufficiency (samooskrba) is interpreted and engaged with in Ljubljana, Slovenia, to analyse its relevance in framing ideas about citizenship during austerity of the Eurozone crisis. In national agricultural policy, increasing food self-sufficiency is a goal for improving agricultural productivity to withstand the constraints of EU multifunctionality policy and its system of agricultural subsidies. From there, the term entered a wider public debate and has described the incentives behind a variety of practices and projects, including household food production for both personal consumption and for the market, farmers' markets, public employment schemes, green urban development plans, and consumer preferences for domestic produce. Self-sufficiency conveys conflicting meanings in Slovenia: it expresses both nationalist sentiments and ideas of the 'alternative food movements,' and frames both a liberal concept of a selfdisciplining citizen and memories of coping with systemic shortage under socialism. Drawing on this diversity, I argue that Slovenian understandings and forms of food self-sufficiency do not indicate isolation or exclusion from markets or state institutions, but represent attempts of sustaining participation within these networks. By using research conducted with government officials, urban growers and consumers, I propose that food self-sufficiency serves as cushioning against precarity. Slovenes employ the narratives and practices of samooskrba to reduce everyday uncertainties, envision viable futures; and seek economic, political and ethical benefits to improve their predicaments. These engagements are more than responses to the crisis; they illustrate the physical and affective work invested in enduring the crisis and making sense of it. This includes challenging ideas of nationhood and European citizenship called upon in these processes. With demonstrating a tight integration of the economic and the ethical, this thesis builds on the approaches that move beyond the dichotomy and argues for analysing the localised experiences of the Eurozone crisis within the EU.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral